Now, like ex-correspondent Ed Helms in 'The Hangover,' Corddry has his first by-committee starring role. In the rather awesomely titled 'Hot Tub Time Machine,' Corddry bromances the night away with John Cusack, Craig Robinson and Clarke Duke as a foursome transported back to 1986 via a magical ski lodge Jacuzzi. Like 'Saturday Night Live,' 'The Daily Show' has become a breeding ground for comedic movie stars. But no matter how funny you are, appearing on a fake news program for roughly five minutes a week won't skyrocket you to above-the-title roles in major studio comedies. But it'll get your foot in the door. Like ex-correspondent Steve Carell in 'Bruce Almighty' and 'Anchorman,' Rob Corddry has chewed up the scenery (and was far and away the best thing about) movies like 'The Heartbreak Kid' and 'What Happens in Vegas.'
Now, like ex-correspondent Ed Helms in 'The Hangover,' Corddry has his first by-committee starring role. In the rather awesomely titled 'Hot Tub Time Machine,' Corddry bromances the night away with John Cusack, Craig Robinson and Clarke Duke as a foursome transported back to 1986 via a magical ski lodge Jacuzzi.
So does being a correspondent on 'The Daily Show' prepare you for a career in Hollywood? "Not at all," Corddry told us in an exclusive interview from the film's Lake Tahoe press junket. "Zero percent." Read on for the explanation -- and more scoop on 'Hot Tub Time Machine,' natch.
So you get a script called 'Hot Tub Time Machine' -- do you even have to read it? Or do you just say "Yes" right away?
I was shooting a movie in New York with Sam Rockwell -- you know a very serious, very important, very respected indie film actor ... he'll win an Oscar someday. And I was making fun of it from the get-go, I said, "Sam, I found our next project: 'Hot Tub Time Machine.'" I was literally hooked from the title page, 'cause it said 'Hot Tub Time Machine: Based on the Incredibly True Story.' And I was like, "Oh OK, this is funny."
And your character may be suicidal. You must've seen endless comedic possibilities there.
Nothing is funnier than suicide, definitely. Actually, that whole suicide thing didn't come in until like a second or third version of that script. The first version I read, it was pretty retarded, not a lot of logic in the script. It was very funny, but just kind of crazy. The loose suicide story was folded in to bring a little heart to a movie called 'Hot Tub Time Machine.' You know what I mean? Just anything to give these guys a reason to do something. Rather than just show boobies.
Speaking of boobies, was this your first sex scene?
Well, yeah, I guess. I did a terrible movie called ... I believe it's called 'Taking Chances' now. It was called 'Patriotville' when I shot it. My first day on set, I had a nude scene with Emmanuelle Chriqui, where she was naked on top of me, so that was my first quote-unquote sex scene. This is definitely my first full-on simulated penny, which is what I'm calling it.
What did you find most surprising about John Cusack? Give us some dirt.
He can't read. Isn't that weird? You think a guy like that, writes for the Huffington Post, you think he'd be able to read. So sad. So sad. He can't spell, I think we all know that by his Twitter account, if you follow him on Twitter ... He is a serious dude. We know him from these '80s comedies, and it's not really him at all. He's a very serious dude.
Then you have Chevy Chase in the movie, too. As a comedian, were you ever awed to be in his presence?
Almost always awed. We had dinner a couple of times, and I would sneak pictures of him, to remind myself that I was having dinner with Chevy Chase. I think of all those 'SNL' guys, maybe he and Bill Murray were the biggest influences on me, the guys I liked the most. It was pretty amazing.
What would you say is the single greatest thing to come out of the '80s?
MTV. Boy they've really made a mark. And 'The A-Team.'
How did your experience on 'The Daily Show' prepare you for Hollywood life and roles in movies and television?
Probably zero percent, not at all. 'The Daily Show' is such an island in the whole entertainment world. It has very little contact with Comedy Central, it's really just [Jon Stewart's] thing, and there's nothing Hollywood about it. It's hard to even call it acting at times. People thought I was a journalist for the longest time, so nothing prepared me for that show, and nothing about that show prepared me for anything to come.
Do you have any favorite correspondents on there now?
John Oliver is for my money, one of the best correspondents ever. And I'm a big Sam Bee fan.
Do you think Fox gave your short-lived TV show 'The Winner' a fair shot?
No. I think they backed off because there was a lot of confusion about the show, first of all. In hindsight, why did we ever make that show set in the '90s, and then narrate it from the future? There was no sense of time or place, you know what I mean? Really that was kind of a hard thing for people to get, and completely unnecessary when I look at it. And also, it was a rough time for multi-camera sitcoms. And also I think the whole 35-year-old adult with a 14-year-old best friend was something that attracted Fox to it in the first place, and then made them turn tail. I think we executed it in the right way, I just think they got cold feet.
Did you get any feedback from Ari Fleischer for your portrayal of him in Oliver Stone's 'W.'?
I didn't get any feedback from him. I spoke to him a couple times before.
What kind of impression did you get from him? Was he nervous about you portraying him?
No. Well, he's that guy. It's his job to never be nervous. And he's very, very good at his job. Ari Fleischer is probably one of the better press secretaries in recent history. Better in that he was completely frustrating and you just hated him, but a very nice guy and he was very nice to speak to me. There was really no need for it, though. I was the only one from the cast to have spoken with their counterpart, because there's really no reason to do it. I thought, "Well this is going to prepare me in someway." But it didn't.
So who do you have to kill to get a lead role in a film these days?
You tell me, I'll f***ing murder that guy.
Are you looking for that kind of script?
Oh yeah, everybody is, of course. That being said, I would be completely happy doing what I'm doing for the rest of my life. If I can do that, it would be awesome. Also, I don't know what it's like being "the lead." Seems like it's a lot of pressure. But I'll do it. I've got a project at Paramount, which if we work a couple of things out, I will be the lead of. It's a project that Jon Stewart's actually producing called 'The Donor' and hopefully there's a feature in that, but we'll see. Tell them I'm available.